Partnership brings mental health awareness, training to construction

A partnership between Site Safe and St John to develop a new Mental Health First Aid in Construction course is bringing much needed support to the construction industry, flagged as a high risk industry for mental wellbeing.

After commissioning a 2019 report in partnership with BRANZ into suicide in construction, Site Safe began looking at ways to offer practical assistance to the industry to better understand and deal with mental health issues in its workforce.

Site Safe chief executive, Brett Murray, says it was a logical step to take after the release of the report.

“There was a real ‘what next?’ question, in us figuring out how to help our industry deal with the mental health issues that the report had clearly highlighted.

“We have partnered with St John to develop this course to tackle some of these issues head on.”

With successful trials run in Auckland and Wellington in late March, participants were in praise of the outcomes of the course.

When asked about the value that the course provided, Wayne, a construction worker who participated in the Auckland trial, said that it was very informative and he learned a lot in the subject of mental health that he did not have much knowledge of.

“It provided a lot more knowledge around how to identify and deal with persons in need of assistance.”

The course will equip attendees with the skills and knowledge to support their own mental health and assist others to do the same, with a particular focus on scenarios within the construction industry.

Murray is confident of a positive industry response and looks forward to further course developments in future.

“My major focus for Site Safe as an industry leader and membership organisation is to work alongside the industry to develop high value products that address key issues the industry is facing.

“Mental health is certainly one of those, and this course is totally aligned to that goal.”

Help is there

If you or someone you know needs support, or someone to talk to, try:

• 1737 – Mental Health Foundation support service. Free call or text any time

• 0800 111 315 – MATES in Construction

• 0800 543 354 – Lifeline (0800 LIFELINE)

• 0800 376 633 – Youthline

• 0800 726 666 – Samaritans

For more information and to book your seat on the Mental Health First Aid in Construction course, visit